Crayons and the Road to Art

Crayons and the Road to Art | Rod Jones Artist

Crayons and the Road to Art

Wouldn’t you agree that there is much magic in a box of Crayola® crayons? In fact, if you thought there was a lot of magic in that old silk hat that  “Frosty The Snowman” wore, just think what you would’ve done, could’ve done, or should’ve done with a box of Crayola’s. There is a color for every mood you might be in. And no matter what your age, when you pick up a crayon something magical happens.

Yes… there is a chartreuse; but no – there is no dandelion. They retired that color for publicity. And the color flesh – is no more, it’s now called pink, think PC here. And remember Prussian Blue… school teachers complained,  so it was changed to midnight blue – go figure. But you can make plaid all your own with the bountiful selection of colors. Pick your favorite, then build your very own tartan pattern.

How many artists or creative people for that matter, started to build their careers at a tender age. With a waxy crayon in their hand and a piece of school paper, the kind you can see little specks of wood chips in that the teacher passed out in the classroom. 

I’ve never met a color I didn’t like – it’s true. When I was a kid, my father owned an independent paint store. Like all paint stores, even to this very day, they have literally hundreds of paint chip samples. I played with those color samples.  There wasn’t much else to do hanging out in the paint store. From crayons to paint store samples, just about every color imaginable was there to see.

It wasn’t long before I started to take discarded paint, do my own mixing; which often led to the color puce, or so I would like to say, the color puke. Once I got the color mixing thing down. I started to paint everything, from my bicycle to my bedroom – to even the dogs doghouse, which for some strange reason after I painted the dog would no longer go in it.

If you are 3, 33, 63, or even 103 get yourself some crayons. “Therapy in a Box.” We all can’t paint, have the time to paint or even want to paint; but we all can sure push a crayon around a piece of paper. People talk about color therapy. Nature is color therapy, its color spectrum goes way beyond the 120 colors you can find in a box of crayons. But who has the time to color nature. Pantone’s color of the year 2020, is classic blue, like nature’s sky. Which matches one of the colors in a crayon box.

Even though my favorite color is green; FYI there are 20 greens in a box of Crayola’s®. The painting I’m showing here features classic blue, although I’ve dressed it up with some pink and red and I have to admit, the blue leans a little bit towards turquoise, but I am the bourgeois artist, so I can mess around with with Pantone’s color of the year if I want to.

I once had an art director client come to a photo shoot with the layout they prepared. They created the layout with crayons, my first thought was how unsophisticated, unprofessional and juvenile. The more I looked at that layout the more excited I got about interpreting it photographically. In the world of high-powered commercial photography, this client’s crayon layout had a pureness of originality. Today we would call it authenticity. That layout was magical.

You call yourself an artist, and I’m sure you’re a good one. But what if you grab some crayons and started a work of art. You won’t be able to drip and smear, you will actually have to do some drawing; again that’s the magic of a crayon. There’s plenty of colors to choose from but they don’t mix well you have to select carefully and add each element with a sense of deliberateness and hoping for a beautiful outcome. It’s low-tech but again it’s magical.

Somewhere there is a child putting his or her crayons to paper. Transferring imaginary thoughts onto a shareable medium. Every once in a while I put down my expensive tubes of paint and brushes and pull out my old box of crayons – I’ve been hanging onto to them for years. I am always amused and bemused what my scribblings reveal.

My crayon box has morphed into a tin box, but inside are a bunch colorful treasures, many broken in two pieces from years of use. I even keep the original green and yellow box, that was presented to me on my fifth birthday, and no I really cannot swear to that was my age at the time.

When life deals you cards from the bottom of the deck, race to a box of crayons. Grab an old paper bag, if you can actually find one, and scribble away. Use lots of shades of pink; pink rose, greens and blues. Within a matter of minutes; magic— you will recover guaranteed— and who knows, you could even frame your art and sell it in some “hotsy-totsy” gallery in the trendy Mayfair district of London. You could be extra cool and name it; “Crayons and the Road to Art.”